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Preview: Africa Unchained

Emergent Africa



Inspired by George Ayittey's book 'Africa Unchained'.



Updated: 2017-09-20T14:14:11.514-04:00

 



From the Luba people of West Africa and elsewhere an ancient mnemonic technique builds a palace of memory

2017-09-20T14:12:12.668-04:00

Lynne Kelly writing in Aeon:
(image)
lukasa memory board. Courtesy Brooklyn Museum/Wikimedia
...the Luba people of West Africa use a well-documented memory board known as a lukasa. Previous researchers have claimed that the ‘men of memory’ of the Mbudye society would spend years learning a vast corpus of stories, dances and songs associated with the bead and shells attached to a piece of carved wood. My initial attitude when I read this was complete skepticism. It was surely claiming far too much for such a simple device. So I made one. I grabbed a piece of wood and glued some beads and shells on it and started encoding the 412 birds of my state: their scientific family names, identification, habitats and behaviour. It worked a treat. I no longer doubt the research.
More here



Africa’s universities are not preparing graduates for the 21st century workplace

2017-09-20T05:26:24.783-04:00

Seth Trudeau and Keno Omu write in Quartz:
Across Africa, students arrive on campuses full of hope that a university degree will improve their lives. The reality is far less certain.

In 2014, a British Council study estimated Nigeria’s graduate unemployment at 23.1%. In Kenya, it takes an average of five years for a graduate to find a job. Yet business leaders frequently say there are jobs – just a lack of skilled talent to do them. How can this be?
More here



Witch Killing in #Nigeria: Why We Must Stop the Ukpabios and Liberty Gospel Church

2017-09-20T05:01:05.248-04:00

Leo Igwe writes:
I want to tell you why you should oppose the recent move by the Ukpabios to bring their witch-hunting mission to Lagos, Nigeria. Before doing that, please take a look at a recent report in one of the Nigerian dallies, the Punch. This newspaper reported the murder of a 70-year-old woman, Mrs Lyiatu Michael, in Doka community in Bauchi state. Mrs Michael met her untimely death after being accused of witchcraft. She was one of the two women who were seized by a local mob following suspicion of occult harm. Angry youths accused the women of causing premature deaths and lack of progress in their community. They took the two women to a house where they beat and tortured them to confess details of their occult activities. Mrs Michael died in the course of the beating but the other woman survived and is receiving treatment at a local hospital. Cases of torture and killing of persons who are accused of witchcraft are widespread in Nigeria. Many of these cases take place in remote communities and are largely unreported...[more]



Why Africa must become a center of knowledge again - Olufemi Taiwo at #TEDGlobal

2017-09-19T15:56:18.829-04:00

Olufemi Taiwo at TED Global 2017
src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/oluf_mi_taiwo_why_africa_must_become_a_center_of_knowledge_again" width="854px" height="480px" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen>



How the Islamic world can reclaim its role in science

2017-09-18T23:05:15.209-04:00

Scidev reports:
Muslim-majority countries face a science crisis. Steps in two key areas are being taken to solve it, says Naeem Khan...[more]



Five Fingers for Marseilles - A Film

2017-09-18T18:01:01.649-04:00

An African Western. Shadow and Act reports:
width="560" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/46tUAfrzgGw" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen>



‘Africa Rising’ in retreat: Signs of new resistances

2017-09-18T17:46:53.433-04:00

Patrick Bond writes



It’s been 50 years since Britain left. Why are so many African judges still wearing wigs?

2017-09-18T11:09:21.391-04:00

Kevin Sieff writes:
The British gave up their last colonies in Africa half a century ago. But they left their wigs behind.

Not just any wigs. They are the long, white, horsehair locks worn by high court judges (and King George III). They are so old-fashioned and so uncomfortable, that even British barristers have stopped wearing them...[more]



Outlandish theories that aliens built the pyramids are rooted in racism

2017-09-18T08:25:41.120-04:00

Julien Benoit writes:
...some people still refuse to believe that anyone from Africa (or anywhere in what is today considered the developing world) could possibly have created and constructed the Giza pyramids or other ancient masterpieces. Instead, they credit ancient astronauts, extraterrestrials or time travellers as the real builders.
More here



West Africa slays its dinosaurs

2017-09-18T07:39:48.558-04:00

Simon Allison writes:
Two years ago, in Accra, Ghana’s seaside capital, leaders from 15 West African countries gathered to decide the region’s political future.

They were there as part of the Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas), but this was no ordinary summit. On the agenda was a proposal, that, if accepted, would radically transform politics in the region and, ultimately, the continent.

The proposal was simple. It said that all Ecowas leaders, in all circumstances, would be limited to just two terms in office. No more dictators. No more presidents-for-life. Just regular handovers of power, regular changes of leadership, regular cycles of political renewal...[more]



Who’s telling China’s story? ...The dystopian vision that Westerners have about China is pretty backward

2017-09-17T09:35:24.847-04:00

Siyi Chen writing in Quartz
Many Chinese people understand the flaws of their country. But they also want to feel proud of what the country has achieved.
More here



Journey of young Africans into violent extremism marked by poverty and deprivation #Nigeria

2017-09-17T09:08:54.461-04:00

From UNDP:
Based on hundreds of interviews with extremists, first-of-its-kind study pinpoints key factors triggering decisions to join violent extremist groups in Africa

...Deprivation and marginalization, underpinned by weak governance, are primary forces driving young Africans into violent extremism, according to a comprehensive new study by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) – the first study of its kind.

Based on interviews with 495 voluntary recruits to extremist organizations such as Al-Shabaab and Boko Haram, the new study also found that it is often perceived state violence or abuse of power that provides the final tipping point for the decision to join an extremist group...[more]



Roads to trade: Connecting mines versus cities in West Africa

2017-09-17T06:00:11.863-04:00

From IGC:
A recent project aims to decipher what kind of transport infrastructure West African countries need most to generate economic growth. The relative gains of prioritising internal market potential (cities) versus the export of natural resources (mines to ports) are calculated through a counterfactual comparative analysis with actual road and track building that took place between 1965 and 2012.
More here



Amina - A Movie #Nigeria

2017-09-16T20:08:41.563-04:00

Directed by Izu Ojukwu:
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Jdbd9VZ2yXo" width="560">
The movie is loosely based on the iconic legend of Amina, the Muslim warrior Queen who allegedly ruled the city of Zazzau (now Zaria) sometime around the 16th century.

The movie will follow Amina's story as the first daughter to the legendary warrior and empire builder, Barkwa Turunku, and her ambition to be queen despite oppression and subjugation. It will follow her growth – from precocious childhood to eventual ruler...[more]



Watu Wote - A movie about terror in #Kenya

2017-09-16T20:03:21.936-04:00

Watu Wote directed by Katja Benrath:
allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="315" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KYGUQQJqKjI" width="560">



Science academies should influence education in Africa

2017-09-16T19:51:00.019-04:00

SciDev reports:
African science academies largely provide evidence-based scientific advice for policymaking, but need to influence educational systems to produce science and entrepreneurship-oriented graduates, a conference has heard...[more]



Re-Imagining the Transformation of our Communities - Carl Manlan

2017-09-16T19:46:14.106-04:00

Carl Manlan writes
Innovation does not equate complex technology. Every day, communities across Africa find creative ways to contribute meaningfully to their lives with or without technology. Their challenges become a source of creativity that pushes them to try different approaches with common tools, limited resources and the will to live, and fashion opportunities to transform their lives. The world is a connection of value chains where one needs to carve out a niche.
More here



Can our politicians save #Nigeria? Let’s get real. The answer is “No” - Kingsley Moghalu

2017-09-16T19:41:56.621-04:00

Kingsley Moghalu writes:
Can our politicians save Nigeria? Let’s get real. The answer is “No”. They can’t. Certainly not the vast majority of the dominant political leadership class we have in our country today.

Let’s just spend a little time explaining why they can’t. And then figure out, as citizens, what to do to save Nigeria. Our focus, I believe, should be on the future we want and how to create that future for ourselves, the young men and women that make up our large youth population, and our children. The past is important mainly for the lessons we should have learned from it. As the character, Sebastian says to his friend Antonio in Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest”, ‘whereof what’s past is prologue, what to come, in yours and mine discharge’
More here



Can the #Blockchain Help with this? Millions of world’s children lack any record of their births

2017-09-16T09:21:25.699-04:00

Would a 15-year-old girl be married off by her parents in violation of the law? Would another girl, who looks even younger, get justice after an alleged statutory rape at the hands of an older man?

In their impoverished communities in Uganda, the answers hinged on the fact that one girl had a birth certificate and the other didn’t. Police foiled the planned marriage after locating paperwork that proved the first girl was not 18 as her parents claimed. The other girl could not prove she was under the age of consent; her aunt, who’s also her guardian, has struggled to press charges against the builder who seduced and impregnated her...[more]



Songs from Somaliland by Sahra Halgan

2017-09-15T17:33:31.034-04:00

CNN profiles Sahra Halgan:
allowtransparency="true" frameborder="0" height="484" scrolling="no" src="https://www.facebook.com/plugins/post.php?href=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.facebook.com%2FCNNAfrica%2Fposts%2F1886142118069413&width=500" style="border: none; overflow: hidden;" width="500">



Living sculptures that stand for history's truths - Sethembile Mzesane at #TEDGlobal

2017-09-15T13:49:18.177-04:00

allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="480px" mozallowfullscreen="" scrolling="no" src="https://embed.ted.com/talks/sethembile_msezane_living_sculptures_that_stand_for_history_s_truths" webkitallowfullscreen="" width="854px">In the century-old statues that occupy Cape Town, Sethembile Mzesane didn't see anything that looked like her own reality. So she became a living sculpture herself, standing for hours on end in public spaces dressed in symbolic costumes, to reclaim the city and its public spaces for her community. In this powerful, tour-de-force talk, she shares the stories and motivation behind her mesmerizing performance art.



Ethiopia & Eritrea: What will it take to break the deadlock?

2017-09-15T08:29:48.080-04:00

Martin Plaut writes:
The stalemate along the Ethiopian-Eritrean border benefits almost no-one. Two armies stare at each other across the 1,000 kilometre border – as they have done since June 2000, when the fighting ended. Every so often there is a flare-up. An Eritrean border guard will fire at a refugee attempting to cross the frontier illegally; if the shots are witnessed by an Ethiopian patrol they will return fire and both sides will retaliate with rifle fire and sometimes an artillery barrage...[more]



South East Region Economic Development Company (SEREDEC) , #Nigeria

2017-09-15T08:00:58.506-04:00

South East Region Development Company (SEREDEC) is a response to the challenges of sustainable development in South Eastern Nigeria. The organization seeks to create a positive business environment that encourages dynamic infrastructural development and sustainable economic growth. By using innovative and market-based approach, we are able to harness the knowledge and expertise of the private sector; the resources and experience of the public sector; passion and network of civil societies to address key issues in South-East development.



In #Nigeria "If new projects are not going to be maintained, they should not be built"

2017-09-15T07:50:25.230-04:00

Cheta Nwanze writes:
There are many schools of thought regarding how to sort out Nigeria’s enormous infrastructural deficit. A lot of people think we should acquire some sort of tunnel vision, which would entail picking just one sector, and developing it. When we reach critical mass in infrastructure in that sector, it would then catalyse development in other sectors.
More here



Is the Digital Economy is Key to Formalizing Africa's Informal Sector?

2017-09-15T07:26:08.385-04:00

Etop Ikpe founder Cars45, writes:
With the commodities crisis crippling the economies of countries like South Africa and Nigeria, it's become more important than ever that Africans develop the blueprint for their own start-up nations. While industrialization is an appealing path to growth for countries like Ethiopia, more nations should value the developmental potential sitting in front of them: Africa's large informal sector. For Africa's young population to be an opportunity instead of a demographic challenge, the public and private sector must partner to formalize the existing economy. By leveraging technology, African countries can enhance understanding of markets, expand education and employment, and deliver monetary benefits for the informal sector and government alike.
More here via All Africa & Africa Expert Network